(BRENTWOOD, NY) – Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez collected 5,000 Valentine’s Day cards from schools throughout the Brentwood and Central Islip school districts and members of the community for his Second Annual Valentines for Veterans card drive, making this Valentines season a very special time in the Ninth Legislative District.
Legislator Gonzalez collected the cards from all 25 schools in district and coordinated their distribution with U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, Amee I. Hernandez Waites, to ship the several thousand Valentine’s Day cards to active-duty service men and women overseas.
“Our students created their Valentines for Veterans cards with pride, knowing that their messages were delivered to, and provided comfort for our troops half a world away,” said Superintendent Sharon A. Dungee. “On behalf of the Board of Education, Administration, Faculty, Staff and our education community, I thank Legislator Gonzalez for providing this very special life lesson to our young children."
“Legislator Gonzalez’s selfless act shows his gratitude to the brave men and women that don the cloth of our great Nation in their effort to protect the freedom which we all have the privilege of enjoying,” said U.S. Staff Sgt. Amee I. Hernandez Waites. “Support reminds the men and women in uniform of the reason why they decided to serve in the military in the first place. I thank Legislator Gonzalez for his constant effort to support our military and the future of the United States of America, we are ever grateful."
This successful community initiative could not have been made possible without the help of the following schools: Twin Pines Elementary School, Southwest Elementary School, Pine Park Elementary School, Oak Park Elementary School, North Elementary School, Loretta Park Elementary School, Laurel Park Elementary School, Hemlock Park Elementary School, Gail Elaine Kirkham Northeast Elementary School, Frank J. Cannon Southeast Elementary School, East Elementary School, Brentwood North Middle School, Brentwood East Middle School, Brentwood South Middle School, Brentwood West Middle School, Brentwood Freshman Center, Brentwood High School, Andrew T Morrow Elementary School, Charles Mulligan Elementary School, Cordello Avenue Elementary School, Francis J O'Neill Elementary School, Marguerite Mulvey Elementary School, Anthony Alfano Elementary School, Ralph G. Reed Middle School, and Central Islip High School.
“I’d like to thank the local schools that participated in crafting Valentine’s Day cards and the active military posts who graciously agreed to distribute cards to their organizations,” said Legislator Gonzalez. “It is incredibly important to bridge the gap between our youth and our veteran population. Suffolk County is home to the most veterans in New York State, and it is imperative to teach our youth that we must show them respect and gratitude for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country. I’m proud of all the students who participated, and I am ecstatic that I was able to distribute 5,000 Valentine’s Day cards to men and women so deserving of kindness this holiday.”